Posted by: Ben Vickers on November 15, 2011
What role are Italy’s elected parliamentarians to play now? The job of governing the country is going to be taken over by a team of technocrats led by Mario Monti. An academic career at one of Milan’s top private universities, Unicattolica and Bocconi, seems to be the most direct route to power, according to Italian media forecasts of who will be in Monti’s cabinet. Standing for election takes second place.
So, lawmakers are likely to turn to what soft power they have to influence the new government’s actions. They will extend their powers beyond approving legislation and the budget—and make their presence felt in the corridors of parliament.
After 17 tears at the forefront of Italian politics, Silvio Berlusconi is the master to watch. See who gets appointed to the Ministry of Justice to calibrate just how effective the political parties’ soft power will be. Berlusconi would probably prefer the Justice Ministry to be in the hands of someone sympathetic to his position: He has several court cases pending, the progress of which could be affected by the new minister.
Justice could be handed to Ugo De Siervo, a former president of the Constitutional Court who’s known for criticizing laws that have shielded Berlusconi from answering prosecutors’ accusations, according to Spain’s El Mundo. There’s no doubt Berlusconi would prefer his old justice minister, Nitto Palma, to get the job.
As an alternative, Cesare Mirabelli, a former president of the Constitutional Court, has also been named and could be a compromise between the old government and Monti. Another name brought up by El Mundo is Augusta Iannini, who is married to TV presenter Bruno Vespa, a personal friend of Berlusconi’s. Piero Alberto Capotosti, a professor at Rome’s Sapienza University also has his name in the hat.
Monti will announce his Cabinet in the next day or two, and who gets the Justice Ministry will probably be the best sign of how much influence Berlusconi and his entourage retain within the new government—and how much leverage political parties can hope to gain in exchange for supporting Monti in parliament.
Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Pool via Bloomberg